About the performance
A humorous yet provocative handlingof a well-known biblical story by Ulrich Hub that won a National Jewish Award for Children's and Youth Literature in 2012.
Our story starts just before the flood myth. The news of a great flood destroying the world reaches two surprised penguins. Like with all the other animals only two of them can embark on Noah's Ark, yet they decide to sneak on it their friend, a third penguin hidden in a suitcase. A 40-day adventure follows during which penguins try to cover the fare dodger! This creative twist of the classical biblical story encourages the audience to ask questions about God, life and death, good and evil, friendship, solidarity and about right and wrong. Still, the author never assumes it will be easy.
»A brilliant and humorous text about friendship, search for God and solidarity, about topics that are so important in raising children. The author subtly avoids all moralisation for that we have in front of us a witty story with sparky dialogues and refined style that adresses children as well as adults. Witty remarks follow each other whole philosophical questions are put in the beaks of aborable pinguines with which children can easily identify.
The story of the Flood is an integral part of the religious hirritage of the whole Middle East and the antient Mesopotamia. According to that the biblical text has some mithological background in the form of sacral narration with which it is also trying to explain this natural phenomenon which to some extent and in some form probably actually occured. Due to the lack of scientific methods and technology, that could have documented it properly, we are left with only a myth. Just recently our wider region was flooded – the extent of the flooding water is such that our generations do not remember. At the same time in cinemas the great spectalce Noah, directed by Darren Aronofsky, is being shown. The biblical heroe has become a futuristic one. In the uncertain time one reaches for myths and stories from the past to explain the reasons for his fear of the cataclysm and the wonders of nature that are so hard to comprehense.
Heroes of our story are three penguines who have from the pigeon by coincidence found out about the Flood that has covered the Earth, and about Noah who is preparing to embark at eight o'clock on his boat two representatives of each living specie. Two penguines, friends, decide not to leave the third, youngest, behind, so they hide him in a suitcase and use a trick to embark him on the boat full of animals from all aroud the world.
The text of author Ulrich Hub Meet at the Ark at Eight is a hymn of friendship, solidarity and tolerance. With its fine style, full of humour, sometimes even with elements of burlesque, never sliding into caricature, the text established itself as one of the biggest discoveries for young audiences. If we are familiar with »the butterfly effect«, which with one swing of wings on one side of the world couses a cataclysm on the other, we will through the story of codependence, coexistence and imagination encouragement discover »the bitterfly effect«. Penguines ask themselves and each other if there is a god and there is one, why is he invisible. They wonder if it is even sensible to avoid the allover flood if in it your best friend will dissappear, even if he is a boring nag. Playfull, philosophical and theological dimension of the text, adopted for the youngest, is subdued to the simple beauty of human feelings. And it seem like penguines can express them better then we ourselves can …«
Robert Waltl, director
»Based on the biblical story about the floods Ulrich Hub wrote a brilliant and funny work about friendship, a search for God and solidarity, all themes that are more than important when raising children. The author manages to avoid moralizing, therefore in front of us lies a witty story written in a refined style that speaks to children and adults equally. Homorous replies follow one another while the author speaks about complex philosophical questions through the beaks of likeable penguins with whom children can easily identify with. At Meet At the Ark at Eight proves that also in children's texts it is possibleto talk about essential topics, such as finding god, opening the question of friendship, solidarity and respecting laws. Author deals with these topics in a humorous way, with brilliant dialogues. The performance distinguishes an extremely rich language understandable to children at the same time. Besides that the text offers also numerous directing and acting possibilities.«
Marinka Poštrak, dramaturge
Grad Prix for the Best Performance as a whole at the 16th International Naj, naj, naj Festival (Zagreb, Croatia); March 2016